Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to show that one individual was not in attendance at the Vancouver rally and also that according to Jason Van Dyke, an attorney representing the Proud Boys, the group contends that they did not pepper spray people from their vehicle, however one “member of the fraternity did pepper spray an “Antifa” protester,” according to Dyke. Accounts in Williamette Week dispute this claim, however.
On Sunday, September 10th, 2017 after the Patriot Prayer event had retreated across the Columbia River from Portland, OR to Vancouver, WA. Antifa counter protesters had the supremacists on the run when a driver reversed his Chevrolet Silverado into the crowd at speed. Protestors were able dodge the attack and thankfully nobody was hurt. The driver sped away, only to be blocked and arrested by a police officer.
— Mike Bivins (@itsmikebivins) September 10, 2017
The driver has been identified as Billy Wilson, who was released by police. Here he is bragging about it on video standing on his truck draped in American flags.
Members of the Proud Boys were also in the mix. According to Jason Wilson writing in The Guardian:
Protesters claimed that a second truck, white and carrying four passengers – one wearing the black polo-shirt uniform of the “Proud Boys” group, another wearing a Donald Trump cap – was also driving at high speed through the streets, reversing and veering dangerously close to protesters.
Greg Liascos, who attended the event, said he saw occupants of the second vehicle “throwing things from the truck” at counter-protesters. Occupants reportedly also used pepper spray. When a plastic bottle and a tennis ball were thrown back, the driver reportedly commenced revving the vehicle and “driving up and reversing down streets” at up to 40mph.
Later, a white truck with four occupants matching the eyewitness description was seen being protected by police until it was able to attempt a safe exit. It struck a police vehicle as it pulled away. That truck also carried a Confederate flag decal.
A second pickup truck – this one a white Ford large-cab pickup containing four men wearing “Make America Great Again” shirts – also circled through city streets, shouting at people on the streets. Witnesses said they were driving at high speeds and veering dangerously toward pedestrians and protesters alike.
After the man was handcuffed, a group called the “Proud Boys” drove down Columbia Avenue and sprayed pepper spray out their windows at protesters in the street. The counter-protesters lobbed rocks at their truck.
Jason Van Dyke, a Texas based attorney claiming to represent the Proud Boys, and who also sits on the Foundation for the Marketplace of Ideas, a collection of lawyers largely associated with the Alt-Right, in an email to IGD disputed these claims however. He stated:
One member of the fraternity did pepper spray an “Antifa” protester that had physically attacked him, and that was the only incident involving the use of pepper spray…The fraternity fully condones, and continues to condone, lawful acts of self-defense when immediately necessary to prevent attacks on is members by violent terrorists such as “Antifa”.
Truck full of proud boys pepper sprayed protesters thru window. Cops let them let them go… they crash into cop car pic.twitter.com/32Cbv6jVUK
— Karina Brown (@karinapdx) September 10, 2017